Ashamed & Struggling

(St. Catharines, Ontario)

Hi there,

I was once told I was enabling my husband to continue down a path of self destruction. I guess I understood at the time that I was an enabler but so afraid that my marriage would be over once I drew that line in the sand. My first marriage ended because my husband at the time decided after many affairs he didn't want to be married to me anymore. To this day 15 years later would still deny he had these affairs.

I did not want to believe my second marriage was to be a failure as well. I was willing to do anything to make things 'right' for my husband. Even as I write this I am seeing that I think I need to 'fix' it.

Well last night I had enough. He has been unemployed for 4 years. Has been battling depression and anxiety I presume most of his life. It had escalated when he had a car accident 4 years ago, lost his job as a result and has not pursued getting another job.

At first I thought if I gave him some space, get the never ending projects finished that he had started he would gain some confidence and want to reenter the work force.

He was diagnosed with OCD as well. He does not finish anything he starts unless I push for completion. He is a stay at home dad at 47 years old. My children do not respect him mainly because of my behavior towards him is the same. I think I have lost my children and my family's respect for me because I continue to accept him the way he is.

I do not know what he does most days at home.
recently he was charged with failure to prove car insurance. He has now been convicted and we would pay an insane amount of money for 3 years for him to drive.

I have a successful business, and there has been no financial reason for him to return to work right away. Yesterday my 20 year old son came home at 1:30 in the afternoon to find my husband watching TV (which is quite common most days) but in his underwear. His self worth has diminished to the level now that he does not feel the need to get dressed when he eventually gets up.

Trying to rationalize any of these issues with him ends up in an argument... me yelling because I am so frustrated that he does not see he needs help. I stopped 2 years ago trying to get him to go to a counselor because he just lies to me about going. he actually lies to me pretty much about any type of progress or his where-a-bouts.

I told him last night he needs to get out, he needs to live somewhere else. He responded with tears, despair and a comment "if I had the balls I would have left a long time ago!"

I have tried to be patient while he decides what he wants to do-work. I have given him space an work on fixing up the house. Every project turns into 100 times longer than it needs to be. Everything results in frustration. I feel I have put our life on hold until he starts to see he needs help and actually goes for it.

I ended up leaving, sleeping at my mothers house (she is away), and I have not returned home. I am ashamed to talk to my friends- those i have left. Many have stopped socializing with us because of the tension, because he makes no sense when he talks, because he is 'quote' peculiar.

Where do i go from here?

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Feb 20, 2010
You first
by: Anonymous

It would be nice if it was so easy to just say that's enough, but sometimes it's not that easy.

My son did that crap to me for many years and I finally had enough and he's happy living in recovery home and working (finally) because he has to. No more free ride means getting out there and seeking the help he needs, but you cannot do that for him.

The only thing you can do is take care of yourself and distance yourself from him with love, if possible. Good luck to you and really just take care of yourself.

Feb 20, 2010
Look After Yourself
by: Evan

You sound to me like you are frustrated and exhausted.

Perhaps you need time to have a break to refresh and have time to think and find out what you want and what is important to you.

If the kids are older you may be able to leave them at home for a little while. It may be helpful to leave the physical situation.

Perhaps this is the next step for you. I hope this helps or at least stimulates some fresh thinking for you.

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